Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The new normal

It's a normal rainy July morning.

Asha and Enoch were bundled off on the school bus just after 7 AM.   They were up at 5.30 and had their Bible time and breakfast.  Asha was in her white sports uniform today.  Enoch in the normal grey pant and white shirt and blue tie that BSS Powai has for most days.  The cement-grey pant mirrored the grey cool monsoonal skies.  An occasional spitting of rain.

Yohan woke up and had the first pill of his day (he now gets meds at 7 AM, 8.30 AM, 1 PM, 7 PM and 8.30 PM to cover the big three diseases this little fellow is battling).   By quarter to 8 he had his bath and breakfast and we prayed for him.  Oma normally takes him at this time to Mrs. Priya S. for his morning classes - but today I dropped him off in the Papaya.

The reason is that Oma will be going with Opa to the Bethany Hospital to start round 3 of chemotherapy this morning.   Last Friday his blood counts were at 2800, and were considered too low for chemo, so the oncologist said to wait a few days.  Yesterday night Dad met Dr. Bakshi again.  Looking at yesterdays report, he saw that Dad's blood counts had gone up to 4800 (in 4 days).  Though the neutrophil percentage is still low (22%), the oncologist had decided to go ahead.  And so as I write this, Mum and Dad will be getting into an auto and heading over to be admitted for the day in order to get his latest dose of chemo.

This is our new normal.  Dropping of kids to school and Dad for chemo.  And moving on with all the things that need to be done. I am off in a few minutes to go to Dadar for a meeting of the CORINTH network - a group of HIV charities in greater Mumbai who are living out their mission in the name and spirit of Jesus.   Sheba will be coming over to JSK to see new patients.  The world spins around and the prayers of the saints are being heard and acted on by our loving Father.

We are coming up on 13 years with Jeevan Sahara Kendra in Thane, 14 years being in the greater Mumbai area as a family and 20 years since I came back from a lengthy bit of study in the US.  It's time to pray and ask the Lord for what He wants of us.  Your prayers are much appreciated during a time when we listen to what our Lord is telling us about the next steps.

Getting back to Dad, one of the mercies is that the CA 19-9 test that he did last week seems to show that the chemo is working.  The test measures whether sugars (oligosaccharides) that are linked with pancreatic cancers are being produced at higher than expected levels.  We are glad that Dad's level's seem in the normal range - a peep into what is happening in his body - an indication that if there are cancer cells left, they are not at this point reproducing strongly.   At the same time, as with any test - there can be false negatives, so we take this result thankfully, but also a bit lightly.  It's good that we don't see a very high CA 19-9 level - but just having it at the normal range is not 100% proof that all is well.

Every day is a blessing - and we move forward into our new normal!


  1. Grace and peace be with you all. Love, Kathy

  2. Prayers continue to go from us to you and for your dear parents, and for guidance from God to know what's next. We are praising God with you for these amazing 13 and more years!